Mask up: Roanoke Airport officials remind travelers masks are required by TSA

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport officials say they are seeing 83% of the traffic they saw back in 2019. As airport traffic increases, officials are reminding folks that they are required to wear masks.

“People are usually really good about that,” said Bradley Boettcher, the Director of Marketing and Air Service Development for Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport. “But, the fact of the matter is that TSA won’t let you through the checkpoint if you don’t have your mask on, and an airline isn’t going to let you onto the plane without a mask.”

Boettcher says that does not mean there hasn’t been some resistance.

“We have had situations here where people didn’t want to wear their mask once they boarded the aircraft, and they were removed from the aircraft.”

TSA announced the extension of mask wearing in the airport until at least Sept. 13.

Boettcher says traffic is expected to ramp up in June, and even more so in July.

“I know airlines are really focused on making people feel comfortable that they’re safe, so I would not be surprised if it got extended a little bit more,” Boettcher explained. “But I know the whole mask issue is very sensitive to people and airlines don’t like to be on the end that they’re the ones having to enforce it.”

Approximately 825 passengers a day are passing through Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport. These are the highest number of passengers since the pandemic began.

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